Houstonians Rally For Reproductive Rights With Gubernatorial Candidate Beto O’Rourke

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Dem gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke chatting with a supporter after his speech at the reproductive rights rally in downtown Houston(05/07/22)

Houstonians showed up in large numbers at the Discovery Green park in downtown Houston (05/07/22) for a reproductive rights rally headlined by gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke. The very well attended and high energy rally comes on the heels of the recent bombshell leak of a draft Supreme Court majority opinion which suggests the high court is getting ready to strike down the landmark Roe v Wade decision which made abortion legal. Judging from the energy in the crowd at Discovery Green, one can safely assume that reproductive rights and the future of the Supreme Court generally, will be major issues in the upcoming midterm elections. This message was very clear from Beto O’Rourke and the other high profile Dem leaders in attendance, who included State Senator Carol Alvarado(District 6), Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, and Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee and Sylvia Garcia.

Beto said at the rally:“This has been among the toughest weeks for so many people across this state and across this nation, but as I look out at each and every single one of you, there is something extraordinarily beautiful in the way that we have decided to come together. And in these tough times, Texans turn out. They are there for and by one another. It brings out the very best in us…We want our fellow Texans, wherever they are, to whatever party they may belong to, to whomever they pray, however they love, whatever country their families originally came from, to know right now we stand together. We stand with them…For most of us, I’m 49 years old, for my entire life, Roe vs Wade has been the law of the land, I’ve known nothing else. But those who preceded me, those who preceded all of us, they made that happen. That fortunate generation who was fighting for the rights that so many, too many have taken for granted for too long, we now have that same opportunity to fight like just they did, and I want us to remember, whatever we think the odds are right now against us, this is possible, and in fact it has been done before against much greater odds.”

There’s no other way to interpret Beto’s remarks other than a call for Texans of goodwill to unite against efforts by Republicans at the federal level and their state counterparts(Gov Abbott’s regime), to peel back their constitutional rights. This could end up being the winning message because it could attract a sizable chunk of the independent vote.

Bottom line folks, historical trends favor Republicans to do very well against Democrats this Fall(party out of power). Reasonable people will agree however, that the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion has given Democrats nationwide, a much needed jolt. Will this jolt be enough to upend historical trends and hand Democrats a surprise victory in November? Only time will tell. Given the high energy at Discovery Green Park however, the potential certainly exists for Democrats to “come from behind” and pull off a surprise win in the elections this Fall.

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Rep Beth Van Duyne Defends Gov Abbott’s Immigrant Bussing Ploy

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Rep Beth Van Duyne(R-TX) on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures(04/17/22)

Texas Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne, a former Mayor of Irving who is considered to be a rising GOP star, appeared on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures show(04/17/22) to discuss the Biden administration’s recent lifting of Title 42 and other immigration issues related to the southern border. Rep Van Duyne defended Texas Gov Abbott’s controversial bussing of migrants caught crossing the southern border to Washington DC, saying this will make politicians in DC “see what it has been like in areas all around Texas.”

Rep Beth Van Duyne specifically told host Jason Chaffetz(video at 4:38):“In Texas we are seeing a huge influx of illegal immigrants, a huge influx of illegal drugs, of illegal weapons, and quite honestly the citizens of the state of Texas are sick of it, which is why I think you see some of the desperate measures that our Governor is taking to put them on buses and send them to Washington, DC since the Biden administration finds themselves too busy to actually be able to come back to the border, well maybe they need to see what its like in DC, what it has been like in areas all around Texas…I guarantee you if we see a mass immigration of illegal aliens, you are going to see those walls go back up around the Capitol to be able to protect the politicians, while we are leaving a wall down on our southern border and ignoring the effects it’s having on the rest of the nation.”

She went on to add that the number of illegal immigrants that have come through the southern border in the last 15 months is more than the combined population of three U.S. states, and that mixed in with these illegal immigrants, are people from “questionable countries” like Syria and Yemen–presumably terrorists.

For the record, illegal immigration has been and still remains a big problem in the United States, and the concerns Rep Van Duyne raised in her Fox News interview regarding the sheer numbers of migrants illegally crossing the southern border, and the prospect of some of them being criminals/terrorists are for the most part, valid concerns. The question here is whether Governor Abbott’s bussing ploy, and that’s exactly what it is–a ploy, is the best way to deal with this decades old, complex immigration problem? Reasonable people will agree that the bussing ploy employed by Gov Abbott, which essentially amounts to playing with the lives of desperate migrants, is no way to deal with a complex problem like immigration. The bussing ploy may play well among Fox News viewers eager to embarrass Democrats in Washington, but it will ultimately blow up in the face of Texas Republicans because it does zero to address the real illegal immigration problem at the southern border.

Bottom line folks, illegal immigration is a complex problem that calls for serious politicians to sit down and come up with concrete solutions to fix it. Texas Governor Abbott, and it appears Rep Van Duyne, are clearly not up to the task of coming up with a concrete solution to this complex problem, and have instead settled for ploys/gimmicks, or “stunts” as Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Beto O’Rourke calls them.

Maybe it’s time stuntman Abbott stepped aside, and allowed Gov O’Rourke to work with serious Texas Republicans, to come up with concrete ways of tackling the complex illegal immigration problem. Hopefully Texas voters will arrive at this conclusion this Fall.

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Nikole Hannah-Jones Says CRT Controversy Boils Down To A Choice Between Education Vs Indoctrination

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Nikole Hannah-Jones with host Chris Wallace on CNN Plus’ “Who’s Talking To Chris” Show

Nikole Hannah-Jone appeared on CNN Plus’ “Who’s Talking To Chris” show, for an extensive interview that covered her award-winning 1619 Project and the Critical Race Theory(CRT), both of which have made her enemy #1 for right wing culture warriors. This was a very interesting, and quite informative interview, which Yours Truly strongly suggests that you watch in its entirety for proper context.

However, if for whatever reason you are unable to watch the entire interview because you are too busy watching reruns of, idk, “Keeping Up w/The Kardashians” or what have you, just cut to the chase and go to the 12:50 mark, where host Chris Wallace asks Nikole to explain the difference between her 1619 Project and CRT. Nikole’s response not only answers the question as to the distinction between the two, but also very importantly, gets to the heart of the entire CRT “controversy”, which in a nutshell, boils down to a choice between education v indoctrination. If you miss everything else in this extensive interview, don’t miss this part.

Nikole Hannah-Jones on the differences between her 1619 Project and CRT(video at 12:50 onwards): “There are not related. I have read Critical Race Theory(CRT), and I do believe in many of the arguments of CRT which is simply saying, 60 years after the end of legal discrimination, after we outlawed discrimination by law, why do we still see so much inequality in our society? The 1619 Project is journalism that looks at history, and uses history to explain our society. They aren’t the same thing, but as we know, they have become code. CRT has become code for anti-racist teaching, for a desire to say we shouldn’t talk about this past. If you look at the[GOP] bills Chris, you’ll see they are talking about a patriotic education, or don’t teach divisive concepts. I don’t know about you, but if this were happening in China, and we were seeing laws prohibiting the teaching the bad parts of China’s history because it made people feel bad, or the Chinese government was dictating that you had to teach a patriotic, undivisive history, we would know that that was authoritarianism, but somehow because it’s in America, we are okay with that. I don’t send my child to school to get a patriotic history that never makes her feel uncomfortable. I want her to be challenged, I want her to be exposed to ideas that are outside her comfort zone. That’s how someone actually gets an education, and that’s the opposite of indoctrination. To be challenged is the opposite of indoctrination.”

Bottom line folks, as Nikole succinctly lays it out, the entire CRT debate boils down to whether we want to educate our children, or indoctrinate them, and it appears TrumpGOP, which is supposedly opposed to China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and other authoritarian regimes around the world because “they indoctrinate their masses”, has chosen their exact style of indoctrination when it comes to CRT. It’s really that simple!!

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Is Lt Gov Winsome Sears The New Feel-Good Republican Of Color?

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The Republican Party has for decades fought accusations of racism from Democrats and others who do not identify with the party. As a result, Republicans have always latched onto some highly impressive African-American in their midst, as the “feel-good” Republican of color, who the party then holds out as proof that it is not a racist party.

Some of the prominent and most recent “feel-good” Republicans of color include the late General Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, both of whom served as U.S. Secretary of State, former Oklahoma Congressman JC Watts who was a star quarterback for the Sooners, and even current Senator Tim Scott(R-SC)

Well, it appears, given the reaction to her stellar performance on CNN’s State of The Union, that we have a newly-minted feel-good Republican of color—one Winsome Sears from Virginia.

Here are just some of the reactions from Republicans, super excited about Winsome Sears’ performance on CNN’s State of The Union.

It will be interesting to see how the feel-good Republican of color status shapes Winsome Sears’ political career going forward. Will she run for President in 2024? Hmm. As Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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Reports Of Growing Tension Between Trump And Gov DeSantis Over 2024 Election

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CNN’s Gabby Orr reported on New Day(11/19/21) that tension is growing between former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the 2024 election. Trump is apparently upset that Gov DeSantis has not yet stated publicly that he won’t challenge him for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, if he decides to run. Trump is reportedly fuming to close aides, telling them that he “made” DeSantis.

If this reporting holds, it will be the clearest sign yet, that Gov DeSantis’ rise in the national GOP ranks, and his potential 2024 presidential run, has caught Trump’s attention, and not in a good way.

Gabby Orr told New Day Host **John Berman: “As Donald Trump tracks very closely what Republican presidential hopefuls for 2024 have said about challenging him if he does decide to go for a third presidential run, he has been increasingly irritated with the cardinal sin that Governor Ron DeSantis is committing, by not saying anything of the sort. He has not come out and said ‘I will not challenge Donald Trump if he decides to run in 2024’, he has not even said that he is interested in 2024 and that, according to aides to Donald Trump…is really irking the former President. My colleague Steve Contorno and I talked to several people close to both DeSantis and Donald Trump who said, there is a noticeable strain on the relationship and that [former]President Trump will not be satisfied until Ron DeSantis comes out and unequivocally says he will not challenge the former president in a GOP presidential primary.

Gabby Orr added that while Trump is not personally attacking Gov DeSantis in his private conversations with allies, he is constantly reminding them that he “made” DeSantis, an obvious implication that DeSantis should be loyal to him. Trump’s craving for loyalty pledges is nothing new. The only question is whether rising GOP star DeSantis will clip his wings to appease him as we head towards 2024.

Bottom line folks, the 2024 GOP presidential primary will be a Trumpism referendum–whether the Republican Party continues with Trump as it’s leader, or whether the party settles on someone else–a Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie, Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley–as the new flag bearer. It will be very interesting to see how Florida Governor DeSantis navigates the choppy waters ahead, now that he knows he has TeamTrump scared.

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Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo:”Texas Is Being Run From Maralago”

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Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo appeared on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show (09/24/2021), where she blasted elected Republicans in Texas for giving in to former President Trump’s baseless demands for an audit into the state’s 2020 election results. The decision by the Texas Secretary of State’s office to conduct an audit into the election results of Collin, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant counties, came literally a few hours after Trump’s demand, which led a visibly upset Judge Hidalgo to tell host Maddow that Texas was “being run from Maralago.”

Judge Hidalgo told Maddow:“We have to remember we had incredibly successful elections here in Harris County in 2020. We had innovations that led to record turnouts from both parties, the highest in 30 years, I mean it was beautiful, and since then, no evidence has come out that would in any way cause the need for this kind of audit. All we’ve seen is [former]President Trump exhorting the state, or [Governor]Abbott, to have this audit…The reality of it is Texas is being run from Maralago, and that is dangerous, and it’s not appropriate…it’s extremely concerning.”

Judge Hidalgo added that time had come for politicians in Washington to get off the sidelines, and actively join the fight against voter suppression in the states, telling host Maddow, “We need the federal government to act, I mean, this has gone too far… This should be another call to action. We’ve got the writing on the wall. We’ve got to get off our chairs and get moving on all this.”

Bottom line folks, as Judge Hidalgo correctly pointed out, time has come for some decisive action to be taken against these naked efforts by Republicans at the state level, to restrict the voting rights of minorities. Democrats in Washington cannot just sit on the sidelines, and watch their counterparts in Republican-led states like Texas, go to war against GOP’s efforts to restrict minority voting rights. Simply put, time has come for Democrats in Washington to finally do away with the filibuster, and institute a national voting standard geared towards making it easier for people to vote, as opposed to GOP’s scheme of limiting access to the ballot box. As Judge Hidalgo correctly put it, congressional Democrats need to “get off their chairs and get moving” on a comprehensive federal voting rights law.

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Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick Defends State’s Controversial Abortion Law

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick(R-TX) appeared on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle show(09/02/2021) to defend the controversial Texas abortion bill(SB8), which the U.S. Supreme Court recently allowed to stand. Lt. Gov Patrick told fill-in host Jason Chaffetz that SB8 is simply meant to punish doctors in Texas who perform abortions after detecting a heartbeat.

Lt. Governor Patrick specifically said: “The Supreme Court said in Roe v Wade…that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of life, and that’s what SB8 does. When we pass this bill, we want to give that little Texan in the womb, who has a heartbeat, a chance to see their full potential. And so everyone who is speaking against this bill, obviously for whatever their reason, [is] very comfortable with taking the life of a little Texan who has a heartbeat. Our bill, which has everyone apoplectic on the left, simply says that any doctor who performs an abortion once that doctor detects a heartbeat, can be sued by any citizen in Texas, for up to $10,000, and anecdotally…what we hear now, our Planned Parenthood abortion centers around the state, have stopped doing abortions on little Texans with a heartbeat. That’s the purpose of SB8.”

Abortion has been, and continues to be, a very charged topic in U.S. politics. Yours Truly, the consummate “gentleman and scholar”, believes that it is in the public’s best interests, that the contours of the SB8 debate be clearly defined–that people know exactly what each side is arguing. It is very clear, that according to Lt. Governor Patrick, SB8 is meant to punish doctors in Texas, who perform an abortion, even after detecting a heartbeat. Whether one agrees or disagrees with that point of view is not the issue here. The important thing is that the public is very clear as to the Republican stance re SB8 versus the Dem/liberal stance. Everybody benefits from an informed debate.

It will be interesting to see how the fight over SB8 will play out in the months and years to come, and whether the conservative U.S. Supreme Court will ever entertain a challenge to SB8 on the merits. Until then, as Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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Gov DeSantis Blames Florida Covid Surge On Migrants Coming Through the Texas-Mexico Border

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis On Fox News’ Ingraham Angle Show (08/04/2021)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appeared on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle show(08/04/2021), where he made the ridiculous assertion that it is migrants coming through the Texas-Mexico border, who are to blame for the surge of covid-19’s delta variant in Florida. Yes, folks, Governor DeSantis, with a straight face, told host Laura Ingraham, that the Biden administration is apprehending covid-stricken migrants coming through the Texas-Mexico border, and shipping them to Florida.

Gov DeSantis’ full interview on Ingraham Angle is available here, but the relevant clip is below.

Gov DeSantis told host Laura Ingraham:“He[President Biden] is bringing in people from over a hundred different countries across the southern border. Every variant on this planet, some we don’t even know about, are absolutely coming into our country that way. What they are doing is, people are coming, and then they are farming them out all over the United States, putting them on buses, putting them on planes. So when he is lecturing people about imposing covid restrictions and lock down policies on the one hand, and yet not only doing nothing to stop the border surge, but actually facilitating it on the other hand, he just loses all credibility when it comes to covid.”

Governor DeSantis, noticing how ridiculous his assertion was, then tried to justify it, telling host Ingraham that migrants coming through the Texas-Mexico border have a particular affinity to Florida. He said, “I have[Florida] law enforcement there helping[Texas]Governor Abbott, and we’ve been there for a month, and they say of the illegal border crossers that they come in contact with, a majority of them are telling our guys that they want to end up in Florida…” Gov DeSantis’ totally made-up assertion that migrants coming through the Texas-Mexico border have a fixation with Florida was so ridiculous, even host Ingraham chuckled.

This is the kind of crazy talk one expects to hear from an obscure subreddit or Facebook page. However, when it is uttered by a Governor of a major U.S. state, one thought of as a serious presidential contender in 2024, it should be serious cause for alarm. It is not a lot to ask that a Governor of a major U.S. state like Florida, address a deadly global pandemic that has killed over half a million U.S. residents, and left many more with serious health complications, with the seriousness it deserves. Reasonable people will agree that Gov DeSantis’ argument, that the covid surge in Florida is caused by migrants shipped in from the Texas-Mexico border, is a totally frivolous argument, bordering on lunacy.

Bottom line folks, whether you are a Republican or Democrat, we are at a point where we can all agree that covid-19 is a deadly virus that demands serious attention from our leaders across the board. President Biden is absolutely correct in calling out Gov DeSantis for playing games in the face of this deadly pandemic, and urging him to either start leading, or step aside. Just so you know Governor DeSantis, there’s a very capable Floridian, ready and willing to take over, and help the Sunshine State defeat the deadly covid-19 pandemic.

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GA Governor’s Former Campaign Manager Is A Lobbyist For Voting Machine Company Responsible For GA Voting Debacle

Tuesday night’s edition of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show(TRMS) featured a segment about the numerous problems voters experienced when trying to cast their ballots in Georgia’s primary elections. As usual, the voting problems were concentrated in democratic party strongholds–urban areas where minorities live. The Maddow segment however threw in an interesting tidbit into the story and that is, the lobbyist for the voting machine company(Dominion) at the center of Georgia’s primary voting debacle is none other than the former campaign manager for Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp. The full Maddow segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

Maddow specifically said, “An electronic voting machine company[Dominion Voting Systems] hired [Governor] Brian Kemp’s former campaign manager to be it’s lobbyist, and then the Brian Kemp administration in Georgia, hired that company to replace all of the voting machines in every city, town and county in Georgia, all in record time–literally record time. The state had this board of evaluators that was looking at the various companies who were trying to get that voting machine contract. This board of evaluators looked at the different bids from the different companies and what they were offering. They did not pick the company that Georgia ultimately went with. They picked a different company altogether. But no, the state administration instead decided they would go with the company that Brian Kemp’s campaign manager was the lobbyist for. The company had never had a job this big ever, in fact there has never been a bigger job in U.S. election history. As the Atlanta Journal Constitution pointed out last November, what Georgia was trying to roll out here, was the largest and fastest roll out of elections equipment in U.S. history.”

Maddow’s segment raises the prospect that the Tuesday primary election debacle we witnessed in Georgia may not have been the result of some random or unforeseeable technical difficulties but rather, a well orchestrated plan of voter suppression by Georgia Republicans. Governor Brian Kemp is no stranger to allegations of voter suppression. As a matter of fact Kemp has been a constant target of election integrity/security advocates like Jennifer Cohn for years.

This troubling revelation that Kemp’s former campaign manager is the lobbyist for the voting machine company at the center of Georgia’s voting debacle should be cause for a complete and thorough voter suppression investigation. We simply cannot afford to wait until the November general elections to be “surprised” by the same voting machine problems.

Bottom line folks, there’s no longer any doubt that the unpopular policies of the republican party are increasingly turning it into a marginal/regional party. Republican party leaders have long realized that their only chance of clinging on to power is to make sure as few people as possible vote, especially minorities who traditionally vote against them. What we witnessed in Georgia’s primary elections was just the latest example of GOP voter suppression but it definitely will not be the last. If we are going to have free and fair election this Fall, it is imperative that the mainstream media and members of congress take voter suppression allegations like the ones in Georgia very seriously. Simply put, Governor Kemp must not be allowed to orchestrate yet another voting “debacle” in November for GOP’s benefit.

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Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick Wants To Limit Mail Voting To Voters Over 65 Because Covid-19 Mostly Kills Them

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick(R)

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick appeared on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom show and parroted the falsehood currently being spread by President Trump that mail-in ballots are prone to massive voter fraud. Lt. Gov Patrick argued that because CDC data has established that it is people over 65 who are mostly losing their lives due to covid-19 , only Texas voters over 65 should be allowed to vote by mail. As shocking as this sounds, Lt Gov Patrick is literally telling Texas voters under 65 not to worry about contracting covid-19 at the polling places because even if they do, it will not kill them–it only kills people over 65. This is sadly, the kind of reasoning you get from a guy who’s second-in-command to the Texas Governorship.

Lt. Gov Patrick said when asked about voters’ valid fears of covid-19, “I want to go back to what the CDC said. 80% of people who have died from the virus [covid-19] are over 65. Anyone over 65 in America can vote safely from home. That’s already the law virtually everywhere–some states have all mail-in ballots on the west coast. So anyone 65 who is really vulnerable can vote from home. This idea that we want to give you a disability claim because ‘I’m afraid to go vote’ if you are under 65 is laughable. You have more chance of being in a serious auto accident if you are under 65 on the way to vote, than you do from catching the virus and dying from it by voting.”

One of the biggest flaws in Lt Gov Patrick’s reasoning (it’s actually totally flawed), is this idea that covid-19 affects one’s life only if it kills you. A leading pulmonologist Dr Andrew Martin, told Heathline, a medical journal that, “Patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), seen often in severe COVID-19 illness, sometimes develop permanent lung damage or fibrosis as well.” So voters of color who are especially vulnerable to covid-19, have a valid reason to fear contracting covid-19 because even if it does not kill them, there’s a good chance it will leave them with long-term medical problems. It is not unreasonable, or “laughable” as Lt Gov Patrick put it, for them to opt for mail-in voting.

Lt Gov Patrick also pointed out in the same Fox News segment that some states in the west coast already conduct all their elections by mail. Notably, he didn’t point to any reports of widespread voter fraud in elections conducted by the said west coast states.

Another eye-catching moment in Lt Gov Patrick’s interview was his unprompted revelation that he knew of ways someone can easily steal votes to swing a close election. This was an eye-catching revelation because Texas voters to this day, have a lot of questions as to how Senator Ted Cruz narrowly defeated his Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke in the 2018 elections.

Lt. Gov Patrick told host Ed Henry, “We [Texas] have so many elections that are so close…….you can swing the balance easily Ed. I can give you ten scenarios but I won’t because I don’t want to give anyone ideas how you can easily steal thousands of votes…” Actually Lt Gov Patrick, Texans would like to find out what you know about easily stealing thousands of votes.

Bottom line folks as we’ve seen numerous times before, Republicans in Texas and elsewhere, will do everything in their power to get as few people as possible to vote. Republicans nationwide have come to terms with the fact they are increasingly becoming a regional party, totally out of step with mainstream American political thought. Lt Gov Patrick’s desperate attempts to stop voting by mail has nothing to do with voter fraud and everything to do with voter suppression–ensuring as few Texans as possible vote in November. It is truly a sad way to “win” an election, but that’s exactly where we are with Trump’s GOP.

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